Tuesday, 09 August 2022

All hail the later mater!

Today I bought my first packet of Tena Lady all-in-one undies. Now this may not seem like a big deal to many of you — and, let’s face it, in the scheme of things it really matters not a jot, what with the world plummeting towards nuclear destruction and all.

And I probably wouldn’t have noticed it myself, normally, it’s just that as I watched them travel up to the cashier on the supermarket conveyor belt, carefully hidden beneath a copy of Girl Talk for my
10-year-old teenage daughter and a Ninja Turtles mag for my son, it slowly dawned on me.

My kids are barely out of nappies and I’m practically back into them!

With only six months to go before I turn 50, I’m fairly speeding through middle age and hurtling, in a most ungainly fashion, towards old age.

There was a sharp intake of breath (mine) as the weight of this realisation pushed me forwards into the bag-packing area.

“Are you all right, madam?” ask the 12-year-old cashier. “You look pale.”

Madam? Who was she talking to? I looked over my left, then right shoulder, pointed at my chest all wide-eyed in disbelief and mouthed the word “me?”

She tilted her head to one side, blinked slowly and nodded sympathetically.

“Yes, yes, I’m fine,” I replied, rubbing my back.

She put the Tena Lady packet through, thankfully not calling out for a price check over the tannoy, and glanced up at me.

“My Nan has arthritis something severe, too – swears by Voltarol.”

Arthritis? Her Nan?

“Now where’s my credit card? Must’ve left it on my zimmer frame over there,” I smiled weakly as I rummaged about in my suddenly unbearably muttony rucksack. But the cashier remained stony-faced.

No sense of humour, young people these days.

I’ve always been a late starter, I suppose.
I had my daughter when I was 38 and was shocked to discover, on my pregnancy notes, that I was an elderly prima gravida (old woman pregnant for the first time).

When I was 42, I had my son and was, once again, knocked off my perch to see that all the other mothers in the maternity ward were in their mid to late twenties or very early thirties.

Maybe I’ve always been in a bit of denial. Especially when it comes to age. Like last week, when we were going to the movies.

(I wanted to see Their Finest but the TYOT and her sunshiney seven-year-old brother fancied Boss Baby. Which one do you think we saw? Yep, the animated one. Yawn.

Still, at least I got a nice Nanna Nap in as we watched it. Every cloud…)

Getting ready to go, the TYOT and I bonded over the bathroom mirror, bemoaning our respective spots.

But while hers are pubertal, mine are menopausal.

And when her pimples quickly clear up and vanish, they leave beautifully smooth, pearlescent skin in their place.

When my nasty, painful face-aches eventually fade, however, they reveal yet more wrinkles and a few new hag hairs.

“Oh Mum,” the TYOT giggled when I pointed this out. “They’re not new, they’ve always been there! They’re just… grey. No, white!”

Oh, how we laughed.

But, in all honesty, I don’t really care that my ’tache is turning Santa Claus white. Because if I can just survive, hang in there, I might be lucky enough to meet my own grandchildren someday.

And then I’ll be allowed, nay, expected, to be a bad-tempered, call-it-as-I-see-it, totally-without-filters Grumpy Granny. Just like my own beloved mum is.

But that’s another story…

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